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Take Better Photos With Your iPad Or iPod Touch

The cameras on board the iPad 2 and the iPod touch 4th Gen simply don’t compare to the iPhone’s camera. They can definitely take some decent video with their 720p HD video cameras. But let’s face it, they don’t exactly have the best still cameras, offering just 960 x 720 pixels in the rear-facing camera. You can probably shoot better pictures with your cell phone, even if you’re sporting an orginal Razr or something from ye olden days of yore. Still, some of our readers really want to use that little camera to take photographs, so we’ve come up with a list of apps that offer some improvement and allow you to take better photos with your iPod touch or your iPad.

Essential Apps


by Marc Levoy

Even though this is not technically a universal app, you can use it on any of your iDevices. It’s not optimized for iPad, but blown up to 2X, it’s usable, if not beautiful. Synthcam takes a mini-video and then automatically synthesizes it into a single photo. The result is a photo with a LOT less noise than a photo taken with the native camera. Most of the photos in my testing were a bit blurry, but this is an app definitely worth checking out if you’re willing to take the time and effort to learn how to use it well. The one photo I got that wasn’t blurry was the best of the bunch, by far.

Notable Apps

VideoPix: Video Frame Capture & Slow Motion Player for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad

by Mirage Labs

This universal app takes advantage of the superior video camera. Bypassing the still camera completely, Videopix lets you use any video footage you’ve taken and then grab screenshots from it. This allows you to get photos that are 1280 x 720 pixels, which is more than you get from the iPad’s/iPod’s still camera.

Top Camera - HDR and Slow Shutter

by Lucky Clan

This camera-replacement app makes the most of the still camera on board. With HDR, stabilization, auto white balance lock, grid, virtual horizon, focus box, and exposure box, Top Camera will help you take better photos. In addition, there are a host of excellent editing and filter features to, well, mask the fact that the photos aren’t fantastic.

Top Camera - HDR and Slow Shutter for iPad

by Lucky Clan

The separate iPad version of Top Camera does the same job for iPad users.


by eyeApps LLC

A good HDR app isn’t going to save every photo or eliminate graininess. But, for a very specific problem, this app is a good fix. You know those photographic situations where you either get a well-lit background and a too-dark subject, or a well-lit subject and a blown-out background? Well, universal app Pro HDR takes care of that by combining the best parts of both photos.

PopBooth Photo Booth

by Sincerely Inc.

This one really isn’t a photo improvement app; rather, it’s just a fun app to use with your iPad or iPod (it’s universal). Like an old-fashioned photo booth, you take four photos in rapid succession, and then form them into a strip or a square. Since each one is small, the lack of pixels won’t be so noticeable. Plus, you can add colorful effects to further disguise the lack of photo quality. Even cooler, you can order hard copies of your photo strips directly from the app.

Decent Apps


by Occipital

Although not optimized for the iPad, it’s usable on the any of the iDevices. ClearCam takes a number of photos in rapid succession and then synthesizes them all into a single photo, which can nearly double the pixels in your photo. It’s not a vast improvement on the built-in camera, but it is something.

Other Apps
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